It’s never too early to start looking ahead to the 2014 NBA draft, especially if you’re a Suns fan. This incoming draft class is generating quite the buzz as it is expected to be the best in recent memory. Many experts are predicting that it could potentially match or exceed the almighty draft class of 2003 that included LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh, among others.
Phoenix could end up with four 1st round draft picks this year. Three of them are conditional, so below is an explanation of how they could potentially receive each:
Phoenix’s 1st round pick.
Washington’s 1st round pick: Top 12 protected, meaning the Suns will receive it if the Wizards make the playoffs, or finish as one of the three best teams not to make the playoffs.
Minnesota’s 1st round pick: Top 13 protected, meaning the Suns will receive it if the Timberwolves make the playoffs, or finish as the first or second best team to not make the playoffs.
Indiana’s 1st round pick: Lottery protected, meaning the Suns will receive it if the Pacers make the playoffs.
In all likelihood the Suns won’t receive all 4 picks this year. I’m predicting they wind up with three of the four. Their own pick and Indiana’s pick are both locks, and if the season ended today the Suns would claim the Timberwolves’ pick as well.
It is still not out of the realm of possibility that the Wizards make it as a 7 or 8 seed in the top-heavy Eastern Conference (especially considering their strong finish to the season a year ago), so there is still a possibility of landing all four, however a lot of things would have to go right in order for that to happen.
Either way they will be in excellent shape this June, with multiple picks to use as trade bait if they want to move up in the draft.
There are plenty of big names in this year’s draft class and many scouts believe that there could be as many as 8 All-Stars total. Eight! This class is not just top-heavy either, there are plenty of quality role players and potential starters that will drop to late in the first round.
It is the combination of star power and depth that make this a very special class.
Brandon Duenas’s Top 10 Big Board
I have done plenty of research on this incoming draft class, and looked at numerous mock drafts on multiple sites. I also follow college basketball very closely so I’ve decided to construct a personal list of my top ten prospects this year. Keep in mind it is still very early in the year and a lot can change over the course of a season.
1. SF Andrew Wiggins- Kansas
2. PF Julius Randle- Kentucky
3. SF Jabari Parker- Duke
4. PG Marcus Smart- Oklahoma St.
5. SF/PF Aaron Gordon- Arizona
6. PG/SG Dante Exum- Australia
7. PG Andrew Harrison- Kentucky
8. C Joel Embiid- Kansas
9. SG Gary Harris- Michigan St.
10. SF James Young- Kentucky
Just outside the top 10: Glenn Robinson III, Wayne Seldon, Dario Saric, Noah Vonleh, and Rodney Hood.
Sleepers: Jahii Carson, Doug McDermott, Spencer Dinwiddie, Brandon Ashley, and Dwight Powell.
All Suns fans should circle Thursday, June 26th on their calendars because it is going to be a very exciting day.